As any activist knows, canvassing isn’t really about persuasion (although it does sometimes turn into a discussion, and quite right too). It’s predominantly a data collecting exercise. Where is your support? Make sure you solidify it. Get your people out on polling day.
That’s why I love a Tory on the doorstep. I thank them with genuine enthusiasm. A clear, unambiguous affirmation from a Tory saves, time, effort and money. Very often they seem somewhat surprised as you merrily flap off to the next door, red rosette shimmying in that Brightonian breeze.
The Tories are largely a polite bunch. Canvassing recently has reminded me that sometimes people just don’t want to hurt your feelings. They won’t say they’re going to vote Conservative. They’ll very pleasantly say they don’t know or won’t say and thank you for calling by. Polite Tories. There isn’t a code for them on the canvassing sheet. There should be. You’re left to decipher their considerate rebuffal.
That’s why we shouldn’t be lured into complacency by the relative lack of blue posters around town. Conservatives are naturally, well, conservative. They’re terribly polite but they sneak out in great numbers every polling day and you’d never know until you count those votes.